KOGEI STANDARD Japanese Crafts Online Media

Natural Marbled Sake Bottle

Ceramics
ARTIST
Hiroshi Toyofuku
ORIGIN
Bizen, Okayama Prefecture
SIZE
W85 × H132mm
MATERIAL
Clay

A deep flavor of Bizen

Bizen tokkuri, Karatsu guinomi – “Bizen bottle, Karatsu cup.” If you are a sake lover, you may be familiar with this saying. It has long been said that Bizen’s clay, which contains a large amount of iron, makes water mellow and sake especially tasty. Tokkuri bottles are a representative type of sake ware from Bizen, and many artists have created masterpieces in that form.

This tokkuri by Hiroshi Toyofuku has a beautiful shape composed of flowing surfaces, which also characterize his other works. Its modern form, stripped of superfluous materials, is in part the result of his efforts to express the natural character of the Bizen clay. Hiroshi is passionate about showing the clay as it is, and carefully prepares the raw clay using a technique called “shizen-nerikomi” (literally,”natural kneading”). In this process he creates the shape with an image of the finished product in mind but then lets nature itself determine the final result as he fires it in the kiln once a year.

The way the texture changes each time sake is poured into the bottle is another highlight of yakishime style pottery like Bizen ware. Appreciating how the sake ware is developed adds to the real pleasures of Bizen tokkuri.

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